Thursday, 10 February 2011

One Big Game

Another compulsory donation to Betfair yesterday, (charges only up to 19.78%), money which apparently isn't being invested in improving the stability of the site. As someone with a few years experience of working in an IT, I'm well aware that these things happen, but a little honesty would go a long way. On Saturday when the site was up and down like a whore's drawers, they put a notice up claiming the outage was 'planned'. No one believes that, because it wasn't true. And I thought integrity was important in business too.

I was reading "The World Is Flat" recently, and it got me thinking that in some ways, the exchanges - read Betfair - are like a big game. We all turn up with our boots, (hoping to fill them), optimistic that on day one, we know something that a million other people don't know.

Some of us struggle from the beginning, and are driven out of the game early on. Some leave the stadium never to return, while others keep coming back, paying the entry fee and supporting the successful players financially. The officials running the game take a fee from the more successful players, and stand outside the ground waving the money around with special deals in an attempt to recruit more players. The rules change from time to time, and some winners fall by the wayside to be replaced by more innovative or perhaps fresher players, while others adapt, improve and prosper. It's not quite eleven years since the game started, and I have no idea how many people from the early days are still prospering, but I doubt that it is too many. There's the odd geriatric who thinks that horse-racing and punting is the way to go, and that value doesn't exist, but for many, including me, horses are smelly and unreliable things, and the best opportunities are in sports.

I am coming up for seven years on Betfair, having signed up at the end of March 2004. The early bird gets the worm, but second mouse gets the cheese (so THAT'S where it went!), and although I wasn't in the first wave, I wasn't too far behind. Seven years is a long time, but while the sun is still shining, it's not yet time to quit the hay-making. I may take a few more breaks though. April through September for example.

I came across the term Frugal Fatigue the other day - a term meaning essentially "a tiredness over pinching pennies" and the principle can be applied to trading. Why trade at all on days or events where your return is expected to be significantly reduced from other days when your better events are available? If you have nothing better to do, then so long as you make a profit, then it may be worth it to you, (at least you're not out spending money), but after seven years, and a pretty good idea of where the good and not-so-good days are, I'm becoming a lot more selective. Quality not quantity.

1 comment:

Mike said...


This is a quality piece. Its a shame about all the Spam, that Blogs seem to attract.

I have been with exchanges since 2001, and can certainly relate to a lot of what you write.

The Golden age is probably behind us, for many reasons, not least, Internet Bookmakers have stopped laying decent bets.

You can definately beat exchanges, but, you have to an expertise in a certain field, and not be distracted to lose in others, where you are just gambling.

This should be easy, but, I find it incredibly hard.

Well done with this Blog. It looks good, and I especially like the General Betting blogs update.

I have started a blog - beatingbetfair - at wordpress.